UChicago Forward Update Reports Continued Increase in New COVID-19 Cases

The April 22 email recommended continued masking on public transportation even as state and federal mask requirements for travel are eased.


By Solana Adedokun

From April 15 to April 21, there were 372 new cases of COVID-19 and 611 close contacts at UChicago, according to an email sent Friday, April 22, by UChicago Forward. There are 116 students isolating on campus and 135 isolating off campus.

Surveillance testing found 72 positive cases between April 14 and April 20, resulting in a 6.28 percent positivity rate. Most of the cases detected via surveillance testing have been among students, with only three among faculty and staff.

The city of Chicago’s seven-day positivity rate has increased from 2.8 percent to 5.1 percent in the past week.

UChicago Forward acknowledged the increase in cases and encouraged individuals with potential symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu to stay home and schedule a test through the UChicago Medicine (UCM) MyChart page or to visit the City of Chicago’s website for other places to get tested. The University also recommended that symptomatic individuals be PCR tested even if they receive a negative antigen test result.

In its update, the University reiterated that testing protocols differ depending on whether the person being tested is symptomatic or not. According to UChicago Forward, both the Walker Museum and Gleacher Center are open only for asymptomatic testing, including asymptomatic exposure testing and surveillance testing. Students with symptoms should schedule an appointment online to be seen at UCM’s symptomatic testing facility.

UChicago Forward noted that it will continue to send regular communications on Fridays as needed throughout the quarter. The COVID-19 dashboard will be updated weekly.

The State of Illinois has ended the mask mandate for public transportation following the federal lifting of mask mandates for airplanes and other travel. Though these changes have occurred, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the University continue to encourage wearing masks on public transportation.